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“But, O, Sir, what cause of deep humiliation and abasement of soul, have I, on account of remaining corruption, which I see working continually in me, especially pride. O, how many shapes does pride cloak itself in. Satan is also busy, shooting his darts. But, blessed be God, those temptations of his, that used to overthrow me, as yet, have not touched me. I will just hint at one or two, if I am not tedious as to length.—When I was about to renew my covenant with God, the suggestion seemed to arise in my mind, “It is better you should not renew it, than break it when you have : what a dreadful thing it will be, if you do not keep it.” My reply was, “ I did not do it in my own strength.” Then the suggestion would return, “How do you know that God will help you keep it.” But it did not shake me in the least.—Oh, to be delivered from the power of Satan, as well as sin !. I cannot help hoping the time is near. God is certainly fitting me for himself; and when I think that it will be soon, that I shall be called hence, the thought is transporting.
“I am afraid I have tired out your patience, and will beg leave only to add my need of the earnest prayers of my dear and honoured parents, and all good people, that I may not at last be a cast-a-way; but that God would constantly grant me new supplies of divine grace. I am tenderly concerned for my dear brother Timothy, but I hope his sickness will not be unto death, but for the glory of God.- Please to give my duty to my honoured mother, and my love to all my brothers and sisters.
“I am, honoured and dear Sir,
« ESTHER BURR."
While Mr. Edwards was in the state of suspense, alluded to in his letter to the Trustees of the College, he determined to ask the advice of a number of gentlemen in the ministry, on whose judgment and friendship he could rely, and to act accordingly. One of those invited, on this occasion, was his old and faithful friend, and former pupil, Mr. Bellamy, of Bethlem; to whom, having received from him, on the last day of November, two letters, dated on the 12th and 17th of that month, he returned, on the next day, the following answer; which, while it refers to the subject of the Council, shows also, in a very striking manner, with what ease and readiness, he could throw a clear and certain light, on any dark and difficult passage of the word of God.
Stockbridge, Dec. 1, 1757. “Rev. AND DEAR SIR,
“ Yesterday, I received your two letters, of the 12th and 17th of Nov.; but I saw and heard nothing of Mr. Hill. I thank you for
your concern, that I may be useful in the world. I lately wrote you a letter, informing you of our choice of a Council, to sit here on the 21st of this month; and inclosed in it a letter missive to Mr. Brinsmade, who is one of the Council. I hope, before this time, you have received it. Don't fail of letting me see you here; for I never wanted to see you more.
“ As to the question you ask, about Christ's argument, in John x. 34-36, I observe,
"First. That it is not all princes of the earth, who are called gods, in the Old Testament; but only the princes of Israel, who ruled over God's people. The princes, who are called gods, in Psalm 82, here referred to, are, in the same sentence, distinguished from the princes of the nations of the world—“I have said, Ye are gods; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes."
Secondly. That the reason, why these princes of Israel were called gods, was, that they, as the rulers and judges of God's Israel, were types and figures of Him, who is the True King of the Jews, and the Prince of God's people, who is to rule over the house of Jacob forever, the Prince and Saviour of God's church, or spiritual Israel, gathered from all nations of the earth; who is God indeed. The throne of Israel, or of God's people, properly belonged to Christ. He only was the proper Heir to that throne; and therefore, the princes of Israel are said to sit upon the throne of the Lord, i Chron. xxix. 23; and the kingdom of Israel, under the kings of the house of David, is called the kingdom of the Lord. 2 Chron. xiii. 8. And because Christ took the throne, as the Antitype of those kings, therefore he is said, Luke i. 32, to sit upon their throne.—Thus, the princes of Israel, in the 82d Psalm, are called gods, and sons of God, or "all of them children of the
, , Most High;" being appointed types and remarkable representations of the true Son of God, and in him, of the true God. They were called gods, and sons of God, in the same manner as the Levitical Sacrifices were called an Atonement for sin, and in the same manner as the Manna was called the Bread of Heaven, and Angels' Food. These things represented, and, by special divine designation, were figures, of the true Atonement, and of Him who was the true Bread of Heaven, and the true Angels' Food; in the same sense as Saul, the person especially pointed out in the 820 Psalm, is called “the Lord's anointed," or (as it is in the original) Messiah, or Christ, which are the same. And it is to be observed, that these typical gods, and judges of Israel, are particularly distinguished from the true God, and true Judge, in the next sentence, Ps. Ixxxii. 8, “ Arise, O God, thou Judge of the earth ; for thou shalt inherit all nations.”—This is a wish for the coming of that King, that should reign in righteousness, and judge righteously; who was to inherit the Gentiles, as well as the Jews; and
the words, as they stand in connexion with the two preceding verses, import thus much—“As to you, the temporal princes and judges of Israel, you are called gods, and sons of God, being exalted to the place of kings, judges, and saviours of God's people, the Kingdom and Heritage of Christ; but you shall die like men, and fall like other princes; whereby it appears that you are truly no gods, nor any one of you the true Son of God, which your injustice and oppression also shows. But Oh, that He, who is truly God, the Judge of the earth, the true and just Judge and Saviour, who is to be King over Gentiles as well as Jews, would come and reign !"-It is to be observed, that when it is said in this
” verse—“Arise, O God”-the word rendered God, is Elohim--the same used in verse 6, “ I have said, Ye are gods,”—I have said, Ye are elohim.
Thirdly. As to the words of Christ, in John X. 35, “ If he called them gods, unto WHOM THE WORD of God camE," I suppose that, by the word of God coming to these princes of Israel, is meant, their being set forth by special and express divine designation, to be types, or figurative significations of God's Mind. Those things, which God had appointed to be types, to signify the mind of God, were a Visible Word. Types are called the word of the Lord—as in Zech. xi. 10, 11, and in Zech. iv. 4–6.- The word of God came to the princes of Israel, both as they, by God's ordering, became subjects of a typical representation of a divine thing, which was a visible word of God; and also, as this was done by express divine designation, as they were marked out to this end, by an express, audible and legible word, as in Ex. xxii. 28, and Ps. Ixxxii. 1; and besides, the thing, of which they were appointed types, was Christ, who is called “the Word of God.”— Thus, the word of God came to Jacob, as a type of Christ, 1 Kings xviii. 31, “ And Elijat took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of Jacob, UNTO WHOM THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME, saying, Israel shall be thy name.”—The word Israel is PRINCE OF God :-Jacob being, by that express divine designation, appointed as a type of Christ, the true Prince of God, (who is called, in Isa. xlix. 3, by the name of Israel,) in his prevailing in his wrestling with God, to save himself and his family from destruction by Esau, who was then coming against him, and obtaining the blessing for himself and his seed. Now,
“Fourthly. Christ's argument lies in these words, The Scripture cannot be broken. That word of God, by which they are called gods, as types of Him who is truly God, must be verified, which they cannot be, unless the Antitype be truly God.—They are so called, as types of the Messiah, or of the Anointed One, (which is the same, or the Sanctified or Holy One, or Him that was to be sent; which were all known names, among the Jews, for the Messiah. See Dan. ix. 24, 25; Ps. Ixxxix. 19, 20; Ps. xvi. 10, John ix.
7.) But it was on this account, that those types or images of the Messiah were called gods, because He, whom they represented, was God indeed. If he were not God, the word by which they were called gods could not be verified, and must be broken. As the word, by which the Legal Sacrifices were called an Atonement, and are said to atone for sin, was true in no other sense, than as they had relation to the Sacrifice of Christ the true Atonement. If Christ's Sacrifice had not truly atoned for sin ; the word, which called the types or representations of it an atonement, could not be verified. So, if Jesus Christ had not been the true Bread from Heaven, and Angels' Food indeed; the Scripture which called the type of him, the Bread from Heaven, and Angels' Food, would not have been verified, but would have been broken. “ These, Sir, are my thoughts on John X. 34, etc. “I am yours, most affectionately,
« J. EDWARDS. “P. S. Dec. 5.-The opportunity for the conveyance of my letters, to the ministers chosen to be of the Council, your way, not being very good; I here send other letters, desiring you to take the charge of conveying them, with all possible care and speed."
The gentlemen invited to the Council, at his desire, and that of his people, met at Stockbridge, January 4, 1758;* and, having heard the application of the agents of the College, and their reasons in support of it ;t Mr. Edwards' own representation of the matter; and what his people had to say, by way of objection, against his removal; determined that it was his duty, to accept of the invitation to the Presidency of the College. When they published their judgment and advice to Mr. Edwards and his people, he appeared uncommonly moved and affected with it, and fell into tears on the occasion, which was very unusual for him, in the presence of others; and soon after, he said to the gentlemen who had given their advice, that it was matter of wonder to him, that they could so easily, as they appeared
to do, get over the objections he had made against his removal. But, as he thought it his duty to be directed by their advice, he should now endeavour cheerfully to undertake it, believing he was in the way of his duty.
*I have ascertained the names of only three of the members of the Council-Mr. Bellainy, Mr. Brinsmade, and Mr. Hopkins. This date is right, though it differs from that mentioned in the letter to Mr Bellamy.
# The agents of the College were, Rev. Messrs. Caleb Smith and John Brainerd.
| The Council, at the request both of the English and Indian congregations at Stockbridge, addressed a letter to the Commissioners in Boston, requesting that the Rev. John Brainerd might be appointed Mr. Edwards' successor :-the Housatonnucks offering land for a settlement to the InAccordingly, having had, by the application of the Trustees of the College, the consent of the Commissioners of the “Society in London, for propagating the Gospel, in New England, and the parts adjacent,” to resign their mission; he girded up his loins, and set off from Stockbridge for Princeton, in January. He left his family at Stockbridge, not to be removed till the spring. He had two daughters at Princeton ; Mrs. Burr, and Lucy, his eldest
1 daughter, that was unmarried. His arrival at Princeton was to the great satisfaction and joy of the college. And indeed all the greatest friends to the college, and to the interests of religion, were highly satisfied and pleased with the appointment.'
It was a singular fact, that, soon after his arrival at Princeton, he heard the melancholy tidings of the death of his father. It occurred on the 27th of January, 1758, in the 89th year of his age.
“ The corporation met as soon as could be with convenience, after his arrival at the college, when he was, by them, fixed in the president's chair. While at Princeton, before his sickness, he preached in the college-hall, sabbath after sabbath, to the great acceptance of the hearers ;* but did nothing as president, unless it was to give out some questions in divinity to the senior class, to be answered before him; each one having opportunity to study and
l - write what he thought proper, upon them. When they came
together to answer them, they found so much entertainment and profit by it, especially by the light and instruction, Mr. Edwards communicated, in what he said upon the questions, when they had delivered what they had to say, that they spoke of it with the greatest satisfaction and wonder.
“During this time, Mr. Edwards seemed to enjoy an uncommon degree of the presence of God. He told his daughters he once had great exercise, concern and fear, relative to his engaging in that business; but since it now appeared, so far as he could see, that he was called of God, to that place and work, he did cheerfully devote himself to it. leaving himself and the event with God, to order what seemed to him good. “ The small pox had now become very common in the country,
" and was then at Princeton, and likely to spread. And as Mr. Edwards had never had it, and inoculation was then practised with great success in those parts, he proposed to be inoculated, if the
dian congregation at Cranberry, New Jersey, if they would remove to Stockbridge :—and another letter to the Trustees of the College, requesting that they would use their collective and individual influence, to procure the appointment of Mr. Brainerd, and his removal to Stockbridge.
* The first sermon, which he preached at Princeton, was on the Unchangeableness of Christ, in Vol. VIII. It was upwards of two hours in the delivery; but is said to have been listened to with such profound attention, and deep interest, by the audience, that they were unconscious of the lapse of time, and surprised that it closed so soon. VOL. I.